Antique Indian Sikh Combat Helmet 17th Century Islamic Mughal India

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An antique 17th-century Indian, Mughal-period Sikh combat helmet (Taup) in the form of the Indo-Persian Kulah-Khud.

The helmet of distinctive Indian Sikh form with hemispherical shallow skull is formed by hand-hammering a single piece of thick, solid steel. The interior displays visible hammer marks, while the exterior surface is entirely smooth.

The helmet's exterior features a narrow reinforcing band encircling the base and four reinforcement straps extending from the base to the top, all riveted to the skull.

The movable nasal guard with elaborately profiled finials, in the form of a stylized peacock tail, is mounted in the nose guard fitting, which is in the form of a broad-shaped vertical bar. This bar is affixed with a looped suspension mount and a hook, which allows the nasal guard to be fixed in the upper position.

Additionally, there are massive plume holders on either side of the movable nasal guard.

Both the plume holders and the nose guard pieces contribute to the helmet's strength.

The top of the helmet is applied with a domed rosette riveted to the skull and surmounted by a short spike. The rim of the base is pierced with holes to attach the camail.

The Sikh helmets have a larger skull diameter compared to the regular Kulah-Khud helmets due to the wearer's long hair.

Also, this helmet lacks the Arabic calligraphy inscriptions found on most Indian Muslim Kulah-Khud helmets.

This peculiar form of Indian Sikh helmets were made from the early 17th century until the late 19th century. This helmet is an early example of the combat (Taup) helmet, which is hammered from a thick steel plate with massive reinforcement elements.

Later helmets were constructed from thinner steel plates, less thick than this helmet, and were often adorned with gold and silver koftgari ornamentation.

REFERENCES: The National Museum of New Delhi has a collection of helmets of similar form dating back to the 17th century. They are published in the book "Indian Armours in the National Museum Collection Catalogue" by G.N. Pant and K.K. Sharma. Pages 44-45 - Figure 13/14, 46-Fig.1 5, 49-Fig. 21/22, and 54-Fig.29/30.

For the related Sikh helmets, please see the links below.

The buyer will receive a copy of the pages from the mentioned references, together with a certificate of authenticity.

NOTE: We would like to inform our clients that the market is filled with reproductions of Indo-Persian arms and armor, including helmets, which inexperienced collectors can easily mistake for authentic artifacts. We want to clarify that the Indo-Persian antique helmet that we are offering for sale is 100% authentic, a 17th-century helmet. Furthermore, it comes with a Certificate of Authenticity to ensure its genuineness.


The diameter of the oval edge of the helmet's base at its widest point is 21 cm (8.27 inches).

The height from the spike's top to the skull's edge is 18 cm (7.09 inches).

Weight: 790 grams. (1.7417 lb.)

CONDITION: The helmet shows signs of aging and use, is corroded, and lacks a camail.

Please see all  pictures in the listing since they are part of the description.

Item Details

Reference #:
Militaria & Weapons
Helmets & Headgear
Antiques (approx100yrs)
17th century
(Width x Height X Depth)
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